The creation of a new Joint Forum will encourage museums, archives and libraries in Wales to share and receive expertise from colleagues across the whole of the UK.
'In Wales we have been working towards an agreement for some time to enable us to work more closely with Resource: the Council for Museums Archives and Libraries and the other devolved administrations.
'The creation of this joint forum means that we will get the best of both worlds - express our own cultural identity and benefit from the expertise and experience of other nations.'
The joint forum will meet at least twice a year to discuss potential joint working and ensure improved communication and planning. It will include representatives from the Welsh Assembly government, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Scottish Executive and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Northern Ireland.
Wales will be represented on the joint forum by officials from CyMAL: Museums Archives and Libraries Wales led by the director Linda Tomos. CyMAL is a new division of the Welsh Assembly government, located in Aberystwyth, which will become operational on 1 April 2004. It will provide advice and financial support to local museums, archives, and libraries, and develop and implement policies appropriate to Wales.
The Agreement sets out the principles and protocols by which the four countries will work together in the future.